Before filing for bankruptcy
Here are the key details regarding credit counseling and bankruptcy requirements in Florida:
1. Credit Counseling
Before filing for bankruptcy, individuals must complete a credit counseling session from a court-approved credit counseling agency within 180 days prior to filing. The counseling session can be done in person, over the phone, or online, and it typically involves a review of your financial situation, budgeting advice, and information about available options.
2. Approved Counseling Agencies
The U.S. Trustee Program maintains a list of approved credit counseling agencies that offer services in Florida. It is important to ensure that the agency you choose is approved by the U.S. Trustee Program to comply with the requirements.
3. Certificate of Completion
Upon completing the credit counseling session, you will receive a certificate of completion. This certificate must be filed with the bankruptcy court when you submit your bankruptcy petition.
4. Exemptions and Waivers
In certain circumstances, individuals may be exempted from the credit counseling requirement or may be eligible for a waiver. Examples include emergencies, incapacity, or being on active military duty in a combat zone.
It’s worth noting that credit counseling is just one step in the bankruptcy process. If you decide to proceed with bankruptcy, you will also need to complete additional requirements, such as attending a debtor education course after filing.
To ensure accuracy and to stay up to date with the specific requirements and procedures in Florida, it is recommended to consult with a qualified bankruptcy attorney or refer to the official website of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida, which has jurisdiction over bankruptcy cases in the state.